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Not a sporty type

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm officially starting the post-Olympic backlash here. OK, not quite, don't worry I won't be demanding people stop admiring all those abs. Whatever abs may be, still haven't got to the bottom of that. Bottoms are glutes anyway, aren't they?

But what has happened in the UK is people are using the UK's remarkable success in the Olympics as political capital. The howls for more funding are loud and wolflike. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London has called for two hours of competitive sport in schools every day. It's like a battle cry: 'More sport! More sport!'

Let me explain that the UK's success isn't that remarkable. I think it was at the Sydney Olympics we got one measly gold, and questions were asked in Parliament. LIterally. Members of Parliament wanted to know why the one m. gold. The answer of course was lack of funding. Out of this the UK's national lottery, part of the proceeds of which went to fund sport in the UK, was born. The rest is now Olympic history. We saw the start of it in Beijing we saw the continuation of it in London. At the moment, nobody wants it to stop.

Now I thoroughly enjoyed the Olympics. It was good fun. Watching all those calories being burned had the effect of making me want to burn more. I was down the gym several times that I can attribute to watching the Olympics.

And that's the burden of my plaint against the calls for more sport in schools. I did sport at school. It was part of the inferno we called PE, physical education. Two hours of unspeakable suffering at the hands of sadistic failed sportspeople, every week. There was never much attempt to accommodate the needs of kids who were not good at sport, didn't have good balance (tick) or had no coordination (tick again). It was all jolly hockey sticks but nobody ever explained to us that what we really needed was exercise, to keep the machine running smoothly and the ghost in the machine happy.

That's my trouble with all these calls for more sport. More exercise, yes, and explanations of why you need to do it, double yes. That's what is important for everyone.

But it doesn't have to be sport, or competitive. It's not necessarily about doing it better than everyone else.

Just do it.

Has that been said before?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's taken me nearly 60 years to discover that I actually quite like exercise, and I put most of that down to being always the last girl chosen for any team event, foisted onto a groaning team not quick enough to avoid me. I wasn't fat then either, just useless at team games. Didn't do much for ones confidence.
    1984 days ago
    I had bad experiences of PE too. Indeed, I think many adults who have weight issues start out with bad PE experiences that leave them lacking confidence in their ability to exercise.

    There is a new breed of PE teachers coming through these days. My friend just graduated in this. They focus lots more on inclusion. Looking at different types of exercise that appeal to a broader range of people, not just 'sports'. I hope they gain in momentum. We should send the old guard for re-training to help!
    1985 days ago
    Well said!! Here, here!!

    Maybe the powers that be should look at the statistics...
    How many people competed in the games in London? for How many medals?
    And how many people tried to be one of the London competitors?
    and at what cost.... the specific training, the transportation to competitions that might gain them the opportunity of a chance to compete in the "Olympics"....
    and what happens to these athletes for the next 4 years?
    I am preaching to the choir.

    You ARE right !! The emphasis should be on moving to have the healthiest body you can attain! Audra
    1986 days ago
    I could hardly agree with you more. Well intentioned people who are more out of balance than a drunken skater can do way too much damage. Lets us just play, experiment with what we like to do and can do, and get fitter and healthier. Those other guys can go beat their heads against a wall.
    1986 days ago
    I've never been the sports-oriented type. I have always been active, but I've never been into competitive sports. I would rather see more support for exercise for exercise's sake, rather than a bit push for competitive sports. They do have their benefits, but let's be honest... after a few years, you've learned about all you can about being a "team player" and "playing fair" and it's just about the school's reputation.
    1986 days ago
    1986 days ago
    I wholeheartedly agree with you. I positively hated most PE lessons at school. I couldn't run, hated lacrosse and athletics, wasn't that good at most other sports. It wasn't till later that I discovered that, at my own pace, I could manage a few lengths of the pool in my own indomitable style ;-) I enjoyed a sweaty hour or so leaping unceremoniously about the badminton court and could even be persuaded to foist a table tennis bat in battle lol. I also quite enjoyed tennis and rounders, it must be said, but not at the competitive levels we were pushed to at school.

    So, healthy exercise - yes!!

    Forced labour, sorry, PE for PE's sake - a loud resunding NO!!!!!
    1986 days ago
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